Lee County Government is committed to protecting the water quality, surface water flows, groundwater levels, transportation networks, residential developments, and wildlife habitats in Lee County.

Read the latest finding in favor of Lee County

History of Limerock Mining Amendments

- 1990 -     

Establishment of the Lee Plan

The Lee Plan was developed as a comprehensive management plan for all development in Lee County, including limerock mining.

  • Limerock Mining has occurred in Lee County on a large scale since at least the 1970's. The initial comprehensive plan was adopted in 1989.
  • In 1990, in coordination with several state agencies, the plan was  with various remedial plan amendments which included:
    • Adoption of a new water resources land use classification, DR/GR (Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource)
    • Adoption of a generalized map of current limerock mining areas in the County that became known as Map 14 in the Lee Plan.
    • Adoption of a series of 125 subdistrict maps that would identify the allowable acreage in each subdistrict for the proposed distribution, location, and extent of generalized land uses based on population projections
    • Adoption of a policy that prohibited any development approvals for any FLU category that would cause the acreage total for any land use to be exceeded in any of the 125 subdistricts.
  • Citizens can read the Lee Plan online.

- 2010 -     

Limerock Mining Amendments

These amendments did not change the land use category in which limerock mining projects could be approved. Ambiguous language in these amendments made implementation difficult in practice.

  • In 2010, the County adopted a series of plan amendments that altered the Lee Plan's treatment of the Southeast Lee County planning community, which included:
    • Removing the limerock mining acreage from active agriculture and placing it in industrial.
    • Amended Map 14 so that it was no longer the "generalized map of current limestone mining", but instead was a "Future Limerock Mining Overlay". However, all of the area shown on the map as available was already approved for mining, and several mines were left off Map 14.
    • Required comprehensive plan amendments in order to add land to map 14.
    • Only allowed rezoning for new and expanded mines  in areas identified on map 14
    • Required that development orders could not be approved if the approval caused  acreage allocations for "industrial" was exceeded in Table 1(b)
    • Described the location for new and expanded mines shown on Map 14 as concentrated within the "traditional Alico Road industrial corridor"
    • Required a demonstration of "clear necessity" before allowing additional limerock mines in "less disturbed environments"
    • Required the County to do a supply and demand analysis for limerock every seven years.
  • The 2010 Amendments did not alter the land use category in which limerock mining could be approved. Under the 2010 Amendments, limerock mining was not permitted under the Industrial FLU category, but remained a permitted use only in the DR/GR category. 

- 2019 -     

Limerock Mining Amendments

These amendments removed the ambiguous language from previous amendments, as well as eliminated Map 14. This map had no bearing over the approval of mining applications, but was often misinterpreted to be related to the approval process

  • On June 19, 2019, the Board of County Commissioners adopted the 2019 plan amendments. The amendments included:
    • Elimination of Map 14, the future limerock mining overlay. This was done because Map 14 had no bearing over the approval of mining applications, but was often misinterpreted to be related to the approval process. 
    • Revised table 1(b) and moved mining acres from the "industrial" allocation, to the "active agriculture" allocation, where they were prior to the 2010 amendments.
      • Land identified for industrial uses of limerock mining (crushing, processing, etc) remain in the "industrial" allocation.
    • Eliminated policies that tied allowable mining acreages to Table 1(b)
    • Eliminated policies that tied new and expanded mines to the "traditional Alico Road industrial corridor"
    • Eliminated the requirement that the County perform a supply and regional demand analysis every seven years
    • Eliminated the requirements related to amending map 14, as the map was removed from the plan
  • Comments received by State reviewing agencies supported Lee County’s conclusions that the amendments have no adverse impacts on water quality, surface water flows, groundwater levels, transportation networks, residential developments, water tables, or any rare, unique or endangered wildlife or habitat.  
  • The adopted amendments have been challenged and will become effective when the State Department of Economic Opportunity enters a final order determining the adopted amendments are in compliance with State requirements.

- 2020 -     

State of Florida Division of Administrative Hearings Finding

Based on the findings, The Division of Administrative Hearings has recommended that the Department of Economic Opportunity issue a final order determining that the 2019 Plan Amendments are in compliance.

  • The State of Florida Division of Administrative Hearings on June 16 ruled against Sakata Seed Corporation, Sakata America Holdings, Inc. and Linda S. Nelson and issued a recommended order finding in favor of Lee County. The Honorable Administrative Law Judge, Francine M. Ffolkes (ALJ), found that the County's 2019 Mining Lee Plan Amendments (CPA2018-10014) were supported by appropriate data and analysis and consistent with State law. 
  • Read the full administrative finding here

Limerock Mining Amendments - Fact -Fiction

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Email us: mining@leegov.com

Call us: (239) 533-8585

Please use this search to find public documents related to zoning cases with Lee County. 

Other Resources

Florida State Fire Marshal Blasting Information
SFWMD Consumptive Water Use Permits
FDEP Mining Mitigation Program
Email mining@leegov.com or call 239-533-8585 for additional information